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THE ONE YEAR PROGRAM
IN COMEDY PERFORMING AND WRITING
PREPARES STUDENTS FOR CAREERS IN COMEDY
These unique comprehensive comedy classes are a fast track to the world of comedy clubs, film, TV, acting, and writing. It is the only comedy program of its kind in the world.
Take comedy classes in Stand-Up Comedy, Sketch Comedy, On Camera TV and Film Audition Technique, Acting, Improv and Comedy Writing for Television
Develop your writing and performing skills
Study with pros in the comedy field
Showcase your talent for casting directors, agents and managers at Gotham Comedy Club
Receive individual attention in each of the program’s comedy classes

Our students are appearing on the Tonight Show, The Late Show with David Letterman, The Conan O'Brien Show, The Jimmy Fallon Show, The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson, Comedy Central, HBO, NBC, CBS, FOX, PBS, OWN, Bravo, FX, The History Channel, Starz, MTV, VH1, JLTV, and Canal De las Estrellas. They have made development deals with CBS, ABC, CBS, FOX, Paramount, the Henson Company, and Tribune Entertainment to star in their own sitcoms.

Among the TV shows in which they appear in starring and principal roles are: Saturday Night Live, The Daily Show, The View, Louie, Portlandia, Key and Peele, Orange is the New Black, Boardwalk Empire, Wanda Sykes Presents Herlarious, Royal Pains, Inside Amy Schumer, Es De Noche y ya Llegue, Enlisted, I Love the 1880's, 30 Rock, Rescue Me, Flight of the Conchords, Last Comic Standing, Gotham Comedy Live, The Chris Rock Show, My Boys, That 70's Show, 24, Ellen and Seinfeld. They have appeared in such films as It's Kind of a Funny Story, Morning Glory, Away We Go, The Love Guru, Love Actually and 13 Going on 30.

Our students are performing in major motion pictures, one-person shows, national commercials, and on Broadway and off-Broadway stages. They are appearing at the Montreal Just For Laughs Festival, Los Angeles Comedy Fest, Boston Comedy Festival, San Francisco SketchFest, Seattle Comedy Festival and New York Comedy Festival. They have written and starred in one-person shows at the New York Fringe International Festival, Soho Playhouse, 13th Street Repertory Theatre, and in theaters across the country and around the world.

OUR PHILOSOPHY
Our philosophy at the American Comedy Institute is that the best comedy classes do three things. One, they help you find your own comic voice – what is original and different and wonderful about your sense of humor. Two, these comedy classes teach you how to communicate your unique comedy skillfully, fearlessly and entertainingly to the largest possible audience. And three, these comedy classes instill love and respect for comedy and its capacity to help us survive by showing us that we can face the truth – and laugh!

It is our belief that by offering our students these comedy classes, performing opportunities, and information, and by introducing their work to the entertainment industry, we are significantly enhancing their capability to pursue comedy as a career.

COURSE OFFERINGS

Stand-Up Comedy Classes
In these stand-up comedy classes you will receive intense training with award-winning comedy director Stephen Rosenfield. You learn how to write and perform stand-up comedy. As part of your work in these stand up comedy classes you perform at Gotham Comedy Club and Broadway Comedy Club.
Comedy Writing Classes
These comedy writing classes cover the fundamentals of comedy writing with special reference to the techniques of writing television sitcoms, talk shows, sketch shows, webisodes, podcasts and monologues. These comedy writing classes examine the language, structures, and process of developing comedy material from concept to final draft. It focuses on how to pitch story ideas, how to write and rewrite a script, how to use an audience’s response to edit and punch up material, how to write as part of a team, how to get an agent, and land a comedy writing job.
Improvisation Classes
Train as a theater improv group and learn to create comedy without a script. Through structured exercises you develop your spontaneity, free up your creativity, and sharpen your wit. As part of the course work you perform improv shows that consist of improv games, comedy scenes, and songs.
Sketch Comedy Classes
Learn how to write and perform Saturday Night Live-style sketch comedy. You become part of a writing and performing ensemble producing sketch shows throughout the year.
On Camera TV and Film Audition Technique Classes
In these on-camera classes you work with the actual scripts used for film and TV auditions. You learn how to analyze these scripts in ways that lead to strong, memorable acting choices. You learn on-camera techniques that insure that your audition has impact when viewed on video. Further, you learn how to respond to direction, so that you give casting directors the performance they are looking for.
Acting Classes
These acting classes provide students with a solid foundation in acting technique. Students learn how to create believable and exciting emotion, behavior, and characters for television, movies, and the stage.
Commercial Audition Technique Classes
These on camera classes teach students how to use their sense of humor to book commercials. It is taught by the head of the commercial department of a major bi-coastal talent agency (The Screen Actors Guild prohibits printing his name).
Late Night Talk Show Writing and Performing Classes
Co-taught by Emmy Award winning former writer for the Late Show with David Letterman, Ted Greenberg. These late night talk show classes deconstruct the late night talk show into its constituent writing parts. These classes become a writers room by creating a late night talk show which is produced and performed and taped by the class in front of a live audience.
Industry Presentation
The One Year Program culminates in an Industry Showcases at Gotham Comedy Club, where students perform their stand-up. Casting directors from CBS, ABC, NBC, HBO, MTV, Paramount, and Nickelodeon, along with leading agents, managers, and bookers have seen the work of The One Year Program's graduating students.
FACULTY AND APPLICATION

See the Faculty for the One Year Program

Print the Application for the One Year Program

View the Catalogue for the One Year Program

American Comedy Institute Andrew Ginsburg

"The comedy classes at American Comedy Institute's One Year Program launched me as comedian and an actor. The comedy classes cover all facets of comedy, and equally important, provides you with a clear idea of how to approach and navigate the entertainment industry. That's why so many people who study at the American Comedy Institute are working.

I played "Officer Bernstein" on All My Children, appeared in episodes of The Sopranos, and continue to make appearances oSaturday Night Liven Saturday Night Live. I filmed my first principal role in the movie The Tourist with Hugh Jackman and Ewan McGregor. I signed a two-year deal with a major talent agency.

I'm headlining in stand-up clubs and colleges across the country, including Carolines, Gotham Comedy Club, and The Comedy Cellar.

If you want a career in comedy and want a head start, take the American Comedy Institute's One Year Program"

– Andrew Ginsburg

American Comedy Institute Danny Palmer

"When I moved to NYC to give stand up comedy a shot I'll never forget the thought that ran through my mind when the plane wheels touched down. "How the hell am I going to become a stand up comedian?" Fortunately, I signed on for the One Year program. In these comedy classes is where I developed the confidence, motivation, and stage time connections to completely dive into stand up. Two years after graduating, I was passed to do late night at Comic Strip Live (career launching pad of Eddie Murphy and Chris Rock). I've also been passed at five other NYC clubs, performed in 12 festivals including SF Sketchfest, Los Angeles, Laughing Devil, and the Boston Comedy Festival. I was nominated for "Best Stand Up" at the 2012 LA Comedy Festival.

Steve Rosenfield taught me how to craft a set and how to act like a professional in one of the most highly competitive fields. My fellow students in his program developed into lifelong friends. The One Year Program is a great place to learn the ropes of the comedy profession.

– Danny Palmer

American Comedy Institute Mara Altman

"I was already a writer; ACI's comedy classes helped develop me into a confident performer. ACI also gave me a likeminded community of sharp and funny people who were down to collaborate and give invaluable feedback. And Steve, well that guy is a one-of-a kind mentor who shepherded each student more deeply into who they were at their core and then helped them exploit it in their work as writers and performers of comedy.

– Mara Altman